Stress reduction for diabetics
Stress reduction techniques such as relaxation and breathing exercises can work as well as some drugs to control the effects of diabetes, as researchers reported recently.
The study was carried out by a team of researchers at the Duke University Medical centre, USA. The team worked with 108 patients with type II or adult-onset diabetes. All the patients took part in five 30-minute educational sessions about diabetes. Half of them also got stress management training taught by nurses or graduate students specifically trained for the study. After a year, 32 per cent of the patients taught stress management had a 1 percent or higher reduction in blood glucose
levels, a basic measurement of diabetes. Only 12 percent of the patients who did not get the stress training had such a reduction.
Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a condition that affects the body's ability to regulate the level of glucose in the blood. Type II is also known as non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus, NIDDM, or adult-onset diabetes mellitus. This is the most common form of diabetes mellitus, and is strongly associated with obesity. In this, the body produces normal or even high levels of insulin, but certain factors make its utilization ineffective. Obesity is one factor that disables the efficient use of insulin.
Experiencing stress is associated with the release of hormones that lead to energy mobilization. This energy mobilization leads to the transport of glucose into the bloodstream, resulting in elevated glucose levels, which is a health threat for people with diabetes. Nearly one-third of diabetes patients who regularly practiced the stress reduction techniques lowered their blood sugar levels by 1 percent or more. The stress management techniques, when added to standard care, helped reduce glucose levels.
Diabetes Care Jan 2002, Vol. 25 (1)
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